London Buses route 38

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Arriva London bus LT6 (LT12 FHT), route 38, 5 May 2013.jpg
Operator Arriva London
Garage Clapton (CT)[citation needed]
Vehicle New Routemaster[citation needed]
Peak vehicle requirement 59[citation needed]
Night-time Night Bus N38
Start Clapton Pond
Via Hackney Central
Dalston Junction
Piccadilly Circus
End Victoria bus station
Length 7 miles (11 km)[citation needed]
Level Daily[citation needed]
Frequency 2-5 minutes[citation needed]
Journey time 45-68 minutes[citation needed]
Operates 05:30 until 01:30[citation needed]

London Buses route 38 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Clapton Pond and Victoria bus station, it is operated by Arriva London. The route is the most frequent in London with a bus every minute during the morning peak.


On 25 October 1969 route 38 was further cut back to terminate at Leyton Green, being replaced on the Walthamstow section by the newly introduced route 55. The Sunday service was converted to one-person operation on 6 June 1987. When London Buses was divided into 11 subsidiaries operation of route 38 was taken over by London Forest. On 24 February 1990, the 38 was controversially cut back on Mondays to Saturdays from Leyton Green to terminate at Clapton Pond. It was replaced over this section by the newly introduced route 56. London Forest was wound up in 1991; the route then became a joint operation between Leaside Buses and East London, before being transferred to Leaside Buses.[1]

On 2 June 2002 the Sunday service was converted back to crew operation. In preparation for the introduction of the London congestion charge, in July 2002 peak hour frequency increased. On 29 June 2005, route 38 was converted to one man operation with the AEC Routemasters replaced by Mercedes-Benz O530G articulated buses.[2]

Double deck buses were introduced on 14 November 2009 as part of the Mayor of London's policy to withdraw articulated buses from London. The frequency of the route was increased to every 2-3 minutes.[3]

Eight prototype New Routemasters were introduced in February 2012[4][5][6]

New Routemasters were introduced on 10 May 2014. The rear platform remains open between Victoria and Mildmay Park from Monday to Friday between 07:00 and 18:00 when it is staffed by a customer assistant.[7]

Current route[edit]

Route 38 operates via these primary locations:[8]

In popular culture[edit]

Grime MC and Bow, E3 resident Wiley has mentioned the route 38 in his lyrics. An example of which is "I'm like the 38 bus cos I never turn up!".[9]

A Routemaster bus with route 38 blinds is displayed in the Falkland Islands capital of Port Stanley.[10]


  1. ^ McLachlan, Tom (1995). London Buses 1985-1995: Managing The Change. Venture Publications. p. 61. ISBN 1-898432-74-0. 
  2. ^ A trip down memory lane for last No.38 Routemaster The Times
  3. ^ Press Release Transport for London
  4. ^ New Routemaster bus unveiled in London BBC News, 16 December 2011
  5. ^ "New route for Ballymena's new 'Boris bus'". BBC News. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "'Cleanest, greenest' bus runs from Hampstead Heath to Pimlico". ITV. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  7. ^ Press Release Transport For London
  8. ^ Route 38 Map Transport for London
  9. ^ The Essential…Wiley FACT, Archived 11 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Don't mention the war The Daily Telegraph, 17 March 2007

External links[edit]